By Karen Bong
BINTULU, Sept 10: Taman Jason lockdown has been extended for another two weeks after a short circuit at the Bintulu laboratory yesterday that delayed the processing of swab test results.
Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing however explained that if all samples returned negative, the blockades to the housing area will be lifted as soon as possible.
“The laboratory has resumed operations, so we would like to urge all residents of Taman Jason to remain calm and patient for further instructions.
“Regrettably, several residents have protested to the lockdown extension and attempted to get their neighbours riled up,” he said in a statement shared on his social media post today.
In view of the various complications that may arise, Tiong who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, suggested that the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) be lengthened to 21 days in the future.
Tiong reminded residents that in this pandemic hardship, everybody needs to stay rational and understand the authorities’ intentions were to help them, instead of pressuring for the lockdown to be lifted.
“Any decisions made by the authorities are focused on protecting the health and lives of the people, not to harass any resident in the lockdown areas.
“We only have one life so let’s give the frontliners a little understanding and cooperation to complete their work to collect the most accurate data,” he urged.
Tiong pointed out that the spike in the number of confirmed cases in Bintulu due to the Delta variant has greatly increased the workload of the frontliners.
“Although the authorities have accelerated the laboratory work in the past few days, there is still a limit to the capacity of staff and equipment, and they are reaching the breaking point.
“The authorities cannot simply end a lockdown before the results or findings are obtained particularly as the Delta and other variants have longer incubation period and higher transmission rate,” he explained.
He thus called on everyone who has tested positive and their close contacts to immediately contact the Health Department’s 24-hour hotline at 086-318666 should they need any medical help during their home quarantine.
“Let’s be considerate too by not abusing the hotline as it is meant for life-threatening situations. Taking it for granted or abusing the hotline could result in hurting the people who need help,” he advised.
Tiong emphasised that they have also requested the authorities to add two more medical teams to increase the manpower of the current eight teams deployed by the Health Department, out of which four teams are serving the urban areas.
“With that, there will be a total of 10 teams serving more than 2,000 cases including their close contacts under home quarantine, while performing door-to-door testing.
“Hopefully, it would maximise the effectiveness of the pandemic prevention efforts and ensure professional medical care for those under home isolation,” he said. — DayakDaily